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  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    Education

  • Start Date

    September

  • Course Duration

    1 year full time, 2 years part time

  • Course Type

    MA

  • Course Fees

    website

  • Last Updated

    15 August 2017

Course content

Studying for your Masters in TESOL is the key to unlocking international career opportunities in a sector that is enjoying impressive sustained growth.

We will help you to master the main theories and principles of language learning and teaching so that you can apply them with confidence and imagination in your own teaching practice.

A range of optional modules will allow you to specialise, while the dissertation will enable you to undertake in-depth research into a topic of particular interest to you.

This course is a great complement to a teaching qualification, opening up opportunities to become an active member of the international academic and professional English Language Teaching community.

Programme structure

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation.

Example module listing

The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Educational aims of the programme

This programme is designed for students who have little or no previous language teaching experience or training but who have a strong interest in English language teaching and who are planning a career in the sector.

It's main aim is therefore to provide a sound academic basis in English language teaching through the exploration of major issues in language teaching and learning, including how practice is informed by theory, thereby determining the methods/approaches as well as the materials teachers use and their impact in ESOL classrooms.

The programme thus combines the study of the major principles of, and scholarly approaches to, TESOL with opportunities for application and practice. Specifically, the programme aims to:

  • Advance students’ knowledge and understanding of the grammatical, lexical and phonological structures and stylistic registers of English and how they work together in producing effective communication
  • Introduce students to theoretical issues in TESOL through an exploration of scholarly writing in the field and to the application of these theories within the ESOL classroom
  • Promote critical engagement with concepts, theories and practices associated with English language teaching through reflection and evaluation
  • Provide a theoretical and methodological framework within which students can take responsibility for their own learning and formulate and address their own research questions
  • Provide opportunities for students to create and carry out a project of significant complexity in the field of TESOL
  • Foster reflective practice

Programme learning outcomes

The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:

Knowledge and understanding

Following completion of the programme, students should be able to:

  • Describe and explain the underlying grammatical, lexical and phonological structures of the English language
  • Demonstrate understanding of the way communication is constructed, maintained or repaired through English
  • Evaluate theoretical issues relevant to second language acquisition and learning
  • Critically assess the principles underpinning curriculum design, language teaching methodology and materials selection
  • Demonstrate understanding of the main issues relevant to testing and assessment of language learning
  • Apply the principles which underpin the design and implementation of research projects in English language teaching

Intellectual/cognitive skills

Following completion of the programme, students should be able to: 

  • Demonstrate high level learning and problem-solving skills
  • Reflect upon the knowledge gained and incorporate this into independent learning strategies and practical classroom practice
  • Formulate and address research questions relating to the field of study
  • Create and carry out a project of significant complexity in the field of TESOL
  • Critically appreciate and evaluate theories of language acquisition and learning, curriculum design, teaching methodologies and apply this

Professional practical skills

Following completion of the programme, students should be able to:

  • Apply theoretically informed understandings to various contexts in TESOL
  • Critically assess the appropriate approaches for applying teaching and learning strategies within various TESOL context
  • Apply appropriate English language teaching methodologies in various TESOL contexts
  • Evaluate and apply appropriate methods of assessment and testing in language teaching
  • Display competence in a range of skills at postgraduate level, including advanced analysis and synthesis of arguments, presentation, conducting independent research

Key/transferable skills

Following completion of the programme, students should be able to:

  • Work both independently and with others in order to achieve common goals
  • Manage learning self-critically
  • Critically evaluate research using appropriate theoretical and/or methodological frameworks
  • Organise and manage a research project of significant complexity

Global opportunities

We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.


Visit the TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) MA page on the University of Surrey website for more details!

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